Tagged: Black Shirt

Never Say Never Again: Largo’s White Striped Dinner Jacket

Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983)

Vitals

Klaus Maria Brandauer as Maximillian Largo, billionaire businessman and SPECTRE terrorist

Monte Carlo, Spring 1983

Film: Never Say Never Again
Release Date: October 7, 1983
Director: Irvin Kershner
Costume Designer: Charles Knode

Background

1983 was the year of the dueling James Bonds. Roger Moore continued as the canonical 007 in Eon Productions’ Octopussy, while Bond emeritus Sean Connery surprised audiences by starring in Never Say Never Again, an “unofficial” reimagining of Thunderball released 40 years ago next month by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm.

Never Say Never Again resulted from a two-decade effort by producer Kevin McClory, who had collaborated with Ian Fleming and screenwriter Jack Whittingham on an original Bond screenplay in the late 1950s. When Fleming published a novelization of their unproduced screenplay as Thunderball in 1961, McClory and Whittingham sued and settled out of court, albeit with a string of conditions that ultimately maintained Eon’s rights to the story for up to ten years after the release of their own cinematic adaptation of Thunderball, released in 1965.

By the mid-1970s when McClory announced his plans to produce his own version of the story, both Whittingham and Fleming had died, and Connery had hung up 007’s shoulder holster—presumably for good—after reluctantly returning to the iconic role in Diamonds are Forever. After more legal and production hurdles, the end result released in October 1983 was Never Say Never Again, titled in reference to Connery reprising his role after twice saying he would never play Bond again. (While Moore turned 55 during the production of Octopussy, it’s Never Say Never Again that focuses more on Bond’s advancing age… despite Connery actually being three years younger than Moore and looking considerably more fit than the last time Connery starred as the “official” Bond in Diamonds are Forever a dozen years earlier.)

Not being produced by Eon meant many signature elements were missing, like the James Bond theme, the opening gunbarrel, and a familiar cast portraying 007’s allies at MI6. However, Bond still received his briefing from M (Edward Fox), flirted with Miss Moneypenny (Pamela Salem), and received his equipment from an uncharacteristically jolly Q (Alec McCowen) before jetting off to the Bahamas to investigate a missing nuclear warhead… just as he had in Thunderball.

Never Say Never Again globe-hops with more ferocity than Thunderball, and it’s not long before Bond arrives in southern France, tracking the enigmatic billionaire Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer) and his girlfriend Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger). Bond literally gets his hands on Domino at a Villefranche-sur-Mer massage parlor, where he learns that Largo is hosting a charity ball that night across the border in Monte Carlo. Good thing Bond packed his tuxedo!

Largo: Do you enjoy games, Mr. Bond?
Bond: Depends with whom I’m playing.

Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, and Kim Basinger in Never Say Never Again (1983)

If, like me, you spent much of your childhood going over to friends’ house just to watch them play video games, this scene offers the same thrills and more.

An oft-criticized scene from Never Say Never Again pits Bond against Largo during a duel for world domination… in the form of a pixilated video game that Largo invented. Titled “Domination”, the Atari-style game was clearly an attempt to make the story seem fashionable for the 1980s—though it likely seemed dated by the time its first audiences were already out of the theater. A beaming Largo explains that “unlike armchair generals, we will share the pain of our soldiers in the form of electric shocks.” Even after almost passing out from the pain, Bond keeps the game going—is it because he wants to prove a point to Largo, or does he just not want to give $58,000 to a children’s charity?

As September 12 is National Video Games Day (not to be confused with plain old “Video Games Day” observed on July 8), BAMF Style’s inaugural Never Say Never Again post will explore Largo’s creative black tie for the event. Continue reading

Austin Butler as Elvis: Black Suit for a 4th of July Concert

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (2022)

Vitals

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, country rock guitarist and singer

Memphis, Tennessee, July 4, 1956

Film: Elvis
Release Date: June 23, 2022
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin
Tailor: Gloria Bava

Background

It doesn’t get much more American than Elvis.

Austin Butler went all out in his performance as the King of Rock and Roll in Baz Lurhmann’s characteristically flamboyant biopic, released last summer. Butler’s performance received particular praise—including endorsements from the Presley family—and Elvis would be nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Costume Design.

Elvis follows Presley’s brief life from boyhood through the various levels of stardom, particularly through the lens of his complicated relationship with his domineering manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks). In the early years of his fame, Presley’s hip-swinging celebration of Black music is shown to so enrage the bigoted establishment that he’s being threatened with legal trouble.

The film presents his July 4, 1956 concert in Memphis as an opportunity for Presley to maintain the cleaned-up “New Elvis” image he had introduced three days early while performing “Hound Dog” on The Steve Allen Show three days earlier, stuffed into a white tie and tails as he crooned to an actual basset hound. Instead, having rediscovered the meaning behind his music among the blues joints on Beale Street, Elvis delivers a sweltering performance of “Trouble”—and lands himself right in it, arrested by the Memphis vice squad when he soundly disobeys being told to not “so much as wiggle a finger.” To avoid prosecution, Colonel Tom devises a plan for Elvis to swap out his blue suede shoes for spit-shined service derbies: “It’s either the Army or jail.”

Except that isn’t quite what really happened. Continue reading

Pacino in Heat: Vincent Hanna’s Checked Canali Suit

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995)

Vitals

Al Pacino as Vincent Hanna, intense LAPD detective-lieutenant and Marine Corps veteran

Los Angeles, Spring 1995

Film: Heat
Release Date: December 15, 1995
Director: Michael Mann
Costume Designer: Deborah Lynn Scott

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy 83rd birthday to Al Pacino, the iconic actor born April 25, 1940. Pacino rose to fame after his performance as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974), the latter also establishing his co-star Robert De Niro. After two decades heralded as two of the best actors of their generation, Pacino and De Niro were finally reunited in Heat, sharing the screen for the first time as their characters in The Godfather, Part II never appeared together.

Michael Mann was inspired by the real-life exploits of Chicago detective Chuck Adamson’s investigation into an early 1960s bank robber named Neil McCauley to write and direct Heat, which was actually Mann’s second go at the story which he had originally filmed as a much lower-budget, less complicated made-for-TV movie in 1989 called L.A. Takedown.

Pacino stars in Heat as Vincent Hanna, an intense and idiosyncratic lieutenant in the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division given to bombastic outbursts (especially when women’s asses are a topic of discussion), explained in the original screenplay as the byproduct of Hanna’s cocaine addiction. Hanna is as “funny as a heart attack,” as described to Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), the professional armed robber whom Hanna becomes increasingly obsessed with hunting, sure that McCauley is planning on a major score but unsure of what it will be.

Continue reading

Walk the Line: Johnny Cash in Black for an On-Stage Engagement

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line (2005). Photo credit: Suzanne Tenner.

Vitals

Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, country rock star

London, Ontario, February 1968

Film: Walk the Line
Release Date: November 18, 2005
Director: James Mangold
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips
Tailor: Pam Lisenby

Background

Fifty-five years ago on February 22, 1968, Johnny Cash surprised both the audience and perhaps also his frequent performing partner, June Carter, by proposing to her in the middle of a performance in London, Ontario. The pair had been friends—and eventually lovers—for nearly a decade, as depicted in the 2005 biopic Walk the Line, which culminated with Cash’s on-stage proposal following their performance of “Ring of Fire”, the song June had composed with Merle Kilgore four years earlier to meditate on her own emotions about their relationship. Continue reading

Austin Butler as Elvis: Pink-and-Black Rockabilly Suit

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley in Elvis (2022)

Vitals

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley, country rock guitarist and singer

Shreveport, Louisiana, January 1955

Film: Elvis
Release Date: June 23, 2022
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Costume Designer: Catherine Martin
Tailor: Gloria Bava

Background

Elvis Presley was born 88 years ago today on January 8, 1935. Little introduction is needed for the King of Rock and Roll, who remains one of the most significant cultural figures of the last century even nearly 50 years after this death. Several movies have been made about Presley’s life and musical career, the most recent being the highly publicized Elvis, released last year with an astounding and immersive lead performance by Austin Butler that has been touted as a likely contender for an Academy Award. Continue reading

A Star is Born: Bradley Cooper’s Tan Trucker Jacket

Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine in A Star is Born (2018)

Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine in A Star is Born (2018)

Vitals

Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, charismatic country-rock star

Los Angeles, Spring 2017

Film: A Star is Born
Release Date: October 5, 2018
Director: Bradley Cooper
Costume Designer: Erin Benach

Background

My friend @thestyleisnotenough recently recommended writing about Bradley Cooper’s style in his directorial debut A Star is Born, in which he starred as Jackson Maine, a rock star with an outlaw country image that belies his self-esteem and substance abuse issues. Continue reading

The Talented Mr. Ripley: Dickie’s Black and White at Sea

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Vitals

Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, narcissistic profligate playboy

Italy, Summer 1958

Film: The Talented Mr. Ripley
Release Date: December 25, 1999
Director: Anthony Minghella
Costume Design: Ann Roth & Gary Jones

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Last year around this time, I finally read Patricia Highsmith’s thriller novel The Talented Mr. Ripley that provided the source material for two stylish adaptations: the lush French production Purple Noon (Plein soleil) released in 1960 and Anthony Minghella’s more faithful The Talented Mr. Ripley released on Christmas 1999.

The central drama follows a trio of American jet-setters cavorting on Italy’s scenic Amalfi Coast: spendthrift playboy Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law), his charming on-and-off girlfriend Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), and their mysterious companion Tom Ripley (Matt Damon), who seems to have taken an obsessive interest in Dickie. Continue reading

No Time to Die: Retired Bond’s Caribbean Casual Style

Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die

Daniel Craig as James Bond in No Time to Die (2021)

Vitals

Daniel Craig as James Bond, retired British secret agent

Jamaica to Cuba, Spring 2020

Film: No Time to Die
Release Date: September 30, 2021
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Costume Designer: Suttirat Anne Larlarb

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Happy 00-7th of June! The weather continues warming up as we approach summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in turning to James Bond for inspiration as I begin rotating summer style staples back to the front of my closet.

To dissect the phrasing of his literary creator, you could say James Bond had lived enough for two lifetimes by the time we find the globetrotting secret agent now retired toward the start of No Time to Die. Continue reading

Johnny Cash on Columbo

Johnny Cash as Tommy Brown on Columbo

Johnny Cash as Tommy Brown on Columbo (Episode 3.07: “Swan Song”)

Vitals

Johnny Cash as Tommy Brown, homicidal gospel singer

From Bakersfield to Los Angeles, Spring 1974

Series: Columbo
Episode: “Swan Song” (Episode 3.07)
Air Date: March 3, 1974
Director:
Nicholas Colasanto
Credited by: Richard Levinson & William Link

Background

Johnny Cash was born 90 years ago today on February 26, 1932. Following more than a decade and a half of country hits, the Man in Black riffed on his own image as the villainous guest star in the penultimate episode of Columbo‘s third season, airing just a week after his 42nd birthday. Continue reading

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Leo’s Black Airport Attire

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorenza Izzo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lorenza Izzo in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Vitals

Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, re-energized movie and TV star

Rome to Los Angeles, Summer 1969

Film: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Release Date: July 26, 2019
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Costume Designer: Arianne Phillips

Background

I recently had the good fortune to rejoin my friend Peter Brooker on his excellent podcast, From Tailors With Love, joined by John Williams of James Bond Radio to talk about the style in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Tarantino’s ode to the movie industry at the close of the 1960s.

Though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cycles through the orbit of real-life stars like Sharon Tate, Steve McQueen, the Mamas and the Papas, and James Stacy—to name just a few—the central story focuses on the dynamic between the fictional actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his best friend, the laconic stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

The movie begins with Rick coming to terms with his “washed-up” career, his desperation leading to a meeting with talent broker Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino), who suggests spaghetti westerns as the gateway to the next phase of Rick’s career. Following Rick’s impressive performances on episodes of The F.B.I. and Lancer, Schwarz books him four back-to-back gigs in Italy, where he also meets and marries the beautiful starlet Francesca Capucci (Lorenza Izzo) as his stardom climbs to new heights. Continue reading